Washington: Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign has slammed the Obama administration's Iran policy, which he said had failed to prevent a "genocidal regime" from going ahead with its nuclear programme.
Reacting to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest remarks calling Israel's existence "a threat to humanity", Romney's vice presidential pick Paul Ryan said under Romney America's adversaries "will think twice" about challenging it and its allies.
"America must lead the world in stopping Iran's genocidal regime from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability," Romney himself said in his reaction. Romney termed Ahmadinejad's remarks as "outrageous" and recalled that the Iranian leader had earlier referred to Israel as "a cancerous tumour that must be excised".
"As I said recently when visiting Jerusalem, 'We have seen the horrors of history. We will not stand by. We will not watch them play out again'," Romney said. Congressman Ryan, Romney's running mate said at an election rally in Virginia, also referred to Iran and said a Republican administration will go all out to protect America's allies across the world.
"Under President Romney our adversaries will think twice about challenging America and our allies because we believe in peace through strength. There will be no daylight between America and our friends around the world. "Strong national defence, peace through strength, strong relationship with our allies," he said.
In a statement, Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Ahmadinejad's "incendiary" comments were just another warning that "a fuse is burning".
"Given the Obama Administration's track record in dealing with rogue regimes, I have many serious concerns about this administration's Iran policy. Obama's approach seems to be based on a complete misreading of the intentions of the ayatollahs.
"And by wasting precious time, his policies have placed the security of the state of Israel in jeopardy. It's past time for a change in leadership in the White House," she said. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that there is nothing new in Ahmadinejad's remarks today as he has been spewing such hatred for years.
"The Obama Administration wasted precious time during some of those years trying to reason with the ayatollahs and it delayed for too long in imposing sanctions that would truly bite," he said.
"Now, as Iran marches forward in its race to gain the capability to build a nuclear bomb, we find ourselves in need of strong leadership in the White House. We don't have that leadership now," Cantor said.